Today we are talking to Roger Brian, and how he took a small business up to $110 million in just seven years through search engine optimization and some different systems. Roger’s the kind of person you call when you have in your business income of around six digits and you want to take it to the next level, seven digits and forward. So I think you’re going to enjoy this episode.
How to raise sales online with SEO with Roger Bryan
Transcript by: Arianne Elnar
Ney Torres: [00:00:00] Today we are talking to Roger Brian, and how he took a small business up to $110 million in just seven years through search engine optimization and some different systems. Roger’s the kind of person you call when you have in your business income of around six digits and you want to take it to the next level, seven digits and forward.
So I think you’re going to enjoy this episode. We also talk about entrepreneurship and when to pull the plug on those projects you really love, or maybe the company you have been working for so many years. You can find more about roger at Rcbryan.com I’ll put some links in the notes
Speaker: [00:00:41] Welcome to financially free podcast with your host, Nate Torres. One of the reasons Nate could retire when he was 25 years old is because he was coached by the best and now through this podcast so can
Ney Torres: [00:00:52] Roger Bryan. Roger, welcome to the show.
Roger Bryan: [00:00:55] Thank you for having me.
Ney Torres: [00:00:56] I appreciate you having the time to talk today.
Tell us a little bit about you, because we’re going to do
three episodes with you. And the first one is about digital marketing and entrepreneurship. Can you tell me a little bit about your career in digital marketing
Roger Bryan: [00:01:10] I sold my first website in 1997 and then I started doing online marketing around 2001 primarily for auto auctions.
And nonprofits that did that UCAR donation programs. I started as an employee at a company, not necessarily assigned to do those tasks, but doing them as part of my sales efforts. That turned into starting my own company in 2005 called national charity services, which was a marketing agency that primarily did car donation marketing for Goodwill, red cross, and the salvation army.
most people don’t know that the car donation industry is a, a billion dollar a year industry. We had a lot of great success there. That company, over seven years, did $110 million in car donations on Minnick magazine’s fastest growing companies three years in a row. And I sold that company in 2012 I started my current company in 2013 which, has had a couple of different versions of it.
I’m an SEO professional by trade. So I primarily do search engine optimization. And I had gone through the process of starting a software company in the SEO space that was a spectacular failure. Cost me a little over a million dollars in about five years. So now I work as an SEO consultants. I typically work with large corporations.
That have multiple locations. So like a healthcare organization that has a chain of 23 hospitals or a hundred urgent cares. And I work with their onsite teams to help train them to make sure that they are capable of implementing strategy. And then we provide a lot of technical capabilities to those organizations through a development and data management in order to help them be successful.
So for everybody
listening. Can we talk about entrepreneurship specifically on what you just mentioned, for those people listening right now, SEO search engine optimization is basically how you put, words or keywords in your webpage.
So you are the
Ney Torres: [00:03:00] first a person to pop up when the pro looking at you. Will you say that’s accurate?
Roger Bryan: [00:03:04] That’s about 10% of it. Yeah. Wow. Yeah, no onsite content plays a big role. We really find that there’s four elements to being successful at search engine optimization and all four of them are tied together with proper data management. So you know, which area to be addressing.
Onsite is a big part of it off site, which are your links, and I’m not talking about driving massive amounts of spammy links, but a high quality, 40 links from the right press syndication spots, the other, other websites in your industry. Your daddy to use your dot Gov’s and things like that. Your Wikipedia page on that.
I’m being very, very generic. So if you’re an SEO professional and you’re listening to this, I’m not going to go into a 20 hour diatribe on exactly how to do link building, but I could, if you wanted to hit me up, I’m happy to chat. The next part about it is technical. So this is your mobile optimization.
This is proper site schema, proper site map, structuring, page, load times, proper text font, all of those different things from an engagement point. And the fourth is what we call signals. So that is how people are interacting with your website and if they’re interacting with their website, either via search, social referral, all of the different ways that people can get to your website to show Google that you actually have a website that you want to read.
And when you manage all four of those correctly, then you have success. Skip any one of those fours and you fail.
Ney Torres: [00:04:16] Why is the SEO a good investment or when is it?
Roger Bryan: [00:04:20] It’s one of the few digital marketing investments that pay longterm dividends on previous work. For example, if you run a Facebook campaign, you get your instant gratification of your leads and your conversion, which is great.
And do it. I mean, we’re running Facebook, we’re running ad words, we’re running Bing, we’re running ad roll. I’ve never seen that any of the other things are bad. I’m saying that all of them together are a proper package, but when you do SEO properly. you get traffic today and it increases over time.
The longer that you do it, when you run a Facebook campaign, when you stop that lead flow stops, the revenue stops. So SEO is the one digital marketing strategy that pays dividends over time and allows you to continue to grow your business and scale your business when done properly.
Ney Torres: [00:04:58] If you had to decide you starting today, your own company, whatever that is what will be the steps?
Roger Bryan: [00:05:03] It’s hard. I always tell people to start out with the technical side because it’s not expensive. It doesn’t take long for a couple of hundred. If you have a larger site, a couple of thousand dollars, you can get your site set up correctly in 30 days, and then after that, really work on your onsite content.
Put good quality. Content with 2000 word articles that have good infographics, that are 100% unique. Don’t create content. Tell your story. People want to read a story. They don’t want to read a Wikipedia page on your website if they wanted to read a Wikipedia page and go to Wikipedia. So create good content and then share that content shared on social media. Use tools that allow you to syndicate it out to more people. Like sharing it. If people engage with it and show Google that they like it, Google’s going to want to show it to more people. Then you can get into the link building and more aggressive search signal type strategies. But if you have a good technically sound website and create good content and you share it and people want to read it, you usually have a success.
Ney Torres: [00:05:54] Any, any
examples that come up to you?
Roger Bryan: [00:05:57] I love Neil. Yeah. I love Neil Patel. from a content strategy and a technical perspective. People. Some people love him, some people hate him. He’s a business genius. I’ve talked to him on the phone many, many times. One of the smartest guys in the world, not just at marketing.
The thing is, is that he gets it from a customer engagement standpoint. He gets it from an entrepreneurship standpoint. He gets it from a revenue generation standpoint and then he gets it from an SEO stand. It’s a very rare breed that you see all of those pieces come together. So successful.
Ney Torres: [00:06:22] You started a company called Enfusen can you tell me a little bit more about it? Cause I think the concept is genius.
Roger Bryan: [00:06:26] Well, when we started it, the idea was that we were going to create a software platform that self optimizes people as people’s local marketing campaign, which is a little bit more than just SEO. we spent as, it’s a 2000, so it’s a seven year old company.
We spent five years working on that project. Three of those years we worked with Microsoft and received funding from them to develop a project. it didn’t work. Then. The primary reason was is we had technology problems the entire way. I just made bad decisions. I tried to do too much once the technology platform, we now use that technology internally.
that’s how we started using it. I tried building software platform that could use on their own, primarily healthcare organizations. And it just, it never really got to where it was supposed to go in my mind. And I know all the mistakes I made and I, what is it? It’s about eight months ago, we completely pulled the plug and took away client access to the tool.
We just use it internally now. So. I’ve started, started the wrong word. We, we, we’ve always done our local marketing is a backbone of our revenue generation for our agency. And I started to focus just back on that again and let the software go. Those are the tough decisions you have to make as an entrepreneur.
Sometimes not everything you do works and the sooner you realize that, the better off you are.
Ney Torres: [00:07:33] I agree a thousand percent and I was going to ask you, when did you decided to do that? And I, before you answered that question, I wanna I wanna make a clarification to people listening just notice how, Roger takes accountability and responsibility a hundred percent.
Even though I know you had a team of people there and you know, it’s not like you made the mistakes. Everybody made a mistake. But you, when you speak, you can clearly hear that she says, I made this mistake. I made a mistake. Then change into talking about his team. So that’s something really important to look into an entrepreneur, but yeah. Tell me, Roger, when he decided to say, “well, this is it.”
Roger Bryan: [00:08:08] Yeah, it was, I think it was may or June of last year when. I had six months before we’d started to slow down our development because we were just burning through cash so fast. I had sold my previous two companies I a good amount of cash.
We had invested all of our profit back into the tool, and then I’d burned through all of my cash and was starting to go in debt. And just could not see the light at the end of the tunnel anymore. And when I looked at the numbers, I knew that if we stopped development completely on the software, we could get to a back to profitability.
And if we actually shut the software down and switched everyone back to just straight services, we could increase our margins. And in 2019 my margins were about 56% net take home in my pocket. And that’s even though that we didn’t make that decision, so halfway through the year. So it was definitely the right decision.
I wish I would’ve made it sooner, but again, everything in hindsight is easy to see. to define, but you have to, as an entrepreneur, always be focused in on profitability. It’s good to do the moonshots. And I spent five years on it, and I loved every moment of working on it. And it was, it was gut wrenching to stop, but you got to put that money in the bank.
You have to have money to invest, you have to have money to pay bills, you have families and things like that. So the decision had to be made.
Ney Torres: [00:09:14] What will you do differently if you start that again?
Roger Bryan: [00:09:16] Well, I probably will never go into software again. I’m must to have a partner that specializes. Yeah, I mean, it’s just, it’s not my thing.
I mean, I know I have a skill. I don’t know where I read this recently. I don’t remember who said it, but it’s hard enough to master one skill in your lifetime. So those that go out to and try to master two, three are those that are even worse, that have shiny object syndrome and try to man, try 20 different things.
You’re, you’re destined to fail. If you’re lucky enough to know one thing that really, really good at. Just stay focused in on it. For me, it’s always been search engine optimization, primarily multi location, local search engine optimization. And I never struggle when I do just that. I mean, it’s easy for me.
My team knows how to do it. We have the systems and procedures that I’ve used since 2008. there’s plenty of clients out there in the space. You just. When I stick to it, I make money and I have a good life. So
Ney Torres: [00:10:01] I’m a small business owner, right? who should I call what webapges should I visit if I want to rank locally?
Because one thing is to rank locally, that’s doable, right? Another thing is to rank when somebody looks for Coca Cola.
That’s completely crazy.
Roger Bryan: [00:10:14] Yeah. I mean, the differences between, there’s an element of branding to it. So one of the first things that we do with large organizations is we examine where they are from a brand positioning perspective.
Google is not going to rank your site keyword if it doesn’t rank for your brand. And that’s just a given, especially in local. And most SEO professionals argued to the red in the face that you don’t need to do that, and 80% of the time you do, 20% of the time you can be proven wrong. But we found that if the brand ranks well.
The keyboards are much, much easier because Google sees you as a source of truth in your industry. The best place to start is I have a blog, RC Brian B R Y a n.com that has hundreds of articles and different SEO strategies that we’ve done over the years. I think my first post on that site was 2007, 2008.
you can read through them. Give me a little bit of leeway. We just merged our infusion website with my personal blog. it’s not the prettiest thing right now, and we’re just trying to revamp it. but it’ll definitely give you some good resources. Always go look at Neil Patel’s blog. he’s great, especially the videos that he puts out about how to do SEO without spending any money.
So if you have no money in, but you have time, he’s a great resource. If you have no time and you have money, come to me, I can help you get there
Ney Torres: [00:11:20] excellent.
What is that ?
How big do I have to be?
Roger Bryan: [00:11:23] It’s not necessarily an idea of size. We work with some six-figure mom and pop businesses, but most of them will take from the six figure seven figure range pretty quickly.
It’s not that hard to do if you’ve got a good product and we’ll always make the decision of whether or not we’re going to work with you based on whether or not you have a product. Cant help prove market demand. You need to have an in demand product that you just need to be put in front of people. For example, like we work with, a lot of local contractors HVC, septic, roofing things that people just need.
And all you have to do is be out there in order to get the business. We work a lot with healthcare, which right now is absolutely crazy, especially in telehealth. And then we work with some, majorly branded nonprofit, can’t work with a nonprofit that no one’s ever heard of, but you have a good brand and you want to turn that brand into revenue. I can help with that.
Ney Torres: [00:12:08] thank you very much.
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